There’s no doubt that UFC 200 was the most anticipated UFC event of the summer. The Daniel Cormier vs Jon Jones rematch was a fight everyone was looking forward to. With the addition of Brock Lesnar’s return and Miesha Tate defending her title, this night was one for the records. At least that’s what we thought until Jon Jones was removed from the card and the night was thrown into turmoil.
It is no secret that Daniel Cormier is the nice guy of the UFC, and nice guys finish last. This was finally his shot to face the only fighter who has beaten him in UFC, and Jones dashed Cormier’s dreams once again.
Fortunately for the fans, Dana White did not disappoint with his rearrangements of the fights and Jones’ replacement. Moving the women’s bantamweight fight to the main slot was genius. Keeping Cormier on the card proved difficult but was the right choice especially when they announced one of UFC’s greatest fighters as the contender, Anderson Silva. With a golden Octagon, a rambunctious crowd, and high stakes, UFC 200 was ready to take its place in history.
Cormier vs Silva
As a wrestler, Cormier knew his best shot at beating Silva was to hit the mat immediately. He was instantly hit with boos from the crowd. Cormier opted for a conservative game plan as he faced the aging but still lethal striker. He took Silva down more or less during their 15 minutes in the Octagon, ending in a lopsided judges' verdict, three 30-26 scorecards.
During the brief moments when Silva was upright and had space to work with, he remembered he is one of the greatest strikers to enter the Octagon. He fired off punches, jumping kicks, and knees – he even used one of his patented front kicks. Late in the fight, he visibly hurt Cormier with a kick to the body. It landed hard enough that Cormier felt the sting. He was no match for Cormier though, who was able to pin Silva against the cage and end things.
The Beast is Back!
Brock Lesnar returned to UFC 200 after an absence of nearly five years and made his presence known with an upset win over contender Mark Hunt. Lesnar put his stamp on the landmark event by beating up Hunt in a unanimous decision by a trio of 29-27 scores.
After an extensive feeling-out period, the WWE star took down Hunt. Although Hunt initially made it back to the fence, Lesnar dragged him to the mat, where he dominated from top position. The second round saw Hunt make a comeback, as Lesnar's takedown attempts lacked the explosiveness from the first round. Not ready to box, Lesnar lost round two.
The third round proved the Beast earned that name for a reason. The former heavyweight champion earned a takedown and proceeded to blast his opponent from the top, working from both the half-guard and mount. This ended the match with a 10-8 round.
Who Run the World? Girls
Considered a landmark achievement having women headline the UFC's gala bicentennial event, the main card fight was one to watch. Amanda Nunes stunned Miesha Tate and the world Saturday at UFC 200. Nunes pounded Tate her before scoring a rear naked choke victory in the first round to win the women's bantamweight crown. The 28 year old is known to be most dangerous early in fights, and she lived up to the hype. Nunes came out of her corner aggressively and landed some stiff punches on Tate in the first minute.
As the opening round reached the midway point, Nunes stunned Tate with a series of right hands that crumpled her against the fence. Nunes shocked Tate as she took her back on the ground and locked up a choke that forced a fairly expeditious tap.
"She's a very fast starter," Tate told UFC color commentator Joe Rogan when it was over, "very dangerous in the first round, and she caught me fair and square."
Nunes' win added a couple of additional layers to UFC history. She became the first Brazilian woman to win UFC gold as well as the fight company's first openly gay champion.
Where do we go from here?
This weekend left us with so many questions! Will Brock Lesnar return to UFC for good? Will Rhonda Rousey finally come out of hiding to reclaim the women’s bantamweight ever-rotating belt? Will Conor McGregor face Jose Aldo for the second time for the featherweight title? And of course, will Jon Jones be out of the UFC forever?
While we don’t have the answers for you, we do have ticket packages to the biggest summer fights of the year. Join us at UFC 201, 202 and 203!